Malartic, Quebec Canada

Discover Malartic, Quebec: A Town Rich in History and Gold

Malartic, Quebec, is a charming town nestled on the banks of the Malartic River in northwestern Quebec, Canada. It is part of the La Vallée-de-l'Or Regional County Municipality and is situated approximately 80 kilometres east of the heart of Rouyn-Noranda. The town is easily accessible via Quebec Route 117 and the Canadian National Railway. Besides the main population centre of Malartic, the municipality also encompasses the smaller settlement of Norrie.

The Historical Journey of Malartic, Quebec

The history of Malartic, Quebec, dates back to 1907 when the Abitibi region was being surveyed and organized. The town was named after Anne Joseph Hippolyte de Maurès, Comte de Malartic, an aide de camp to General Montcalm. The discovery of significant gold deposits in 1923 led to a gold rush in the Abitibi region, attracting settlers to the area in 1928.

In 1935, the Canadian Malartic Gold Mines began operation, employing people from all over the province, Canada, and several east European countries. However, the newly arriving workers were not allowed to settle near the mines and built a squatter camp on Crown land about 4 km north of Malartic, known as Roc d'Or. The two settlements grew concurrently, duplicating services. But the parishes, railway station, and post office were established near the mines in Malartic.

In 1939, the Town of Malartic was incorporated under the auspices of the Quebec Ministry of Mines. In 1943, the entire community of Roc d'Or was ordered to move to Malartic by the provincial government, and the settlement was demolished. Despite a mining accident in 1947 that killed 12 miners, Malartic thrived throughout the 1950s, reaching a peak of nearly 7000 residents.

However, the closure of the Canadian Malartic and Malartic Goldfields mines in 1965, followed by the Barnat and East Malartic mines in the 1980s, led to a rapid decline in the economy and population.

Malartic, Quebec: A New Era of Gold Mining

In 2008 and 2009, renewed exploration by Osisko Mining revealed an untapped new gold deposit, estimated at 9 million ounces, beneath the town. The Canadian Malartic Corporation received approval from the government of Quebec to launch what would become Canada's largest ever open pit gold mine.

The project, with an estimated cost of $1 billion, involved relocating most of the portion of the town lying south of Route 117, consisting of about 200 houses and several of the town's public facilities, to a new housing development in the north end of town. This move was featured in season 4 of the television show Monster Moves. By late 2009, most of the relocation work had been completed.

In May 2011, the open pit mine began commercial production. In June 2014, it was bought from Osisko by a partnership of Agnico Eagle and Yamana Gold. By 2023, the mine had produced a total of seven million ounces (200,000 kg) of gold.

Demographics of Malartic, Quebec

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Malartic had a population of 3,355 living in 1,481 of its 1,635 total private dwellings, a slight decrease of -0.7% from its 2016 population of 3,377. With a land area of 147.45 km2, it had a population density of 22.8/km2 in 2021.

The mother tongue distribution in Malartic is as follows: English as the first language is spoken by 2.8% of the population, French is the first language for 93.7% of the population, both English and French are the first languages for 0.6% of the population, and other languages are the first language for 2.5% of the population.